The River Swale, which flows down from the Pennines through Swaledale towards Richmond,  is one of my favourite backyard runs. It’s where I honed my steep creeking skills in the early days and it still puts a huge grin on my face. I was  in the area  the weekend before last after running a day’s coaching for Lincoln University and decided to drop in for a quick run on the way home and show this little gem to a friend. Subsequently we bumped into a really nice couple  (Hilary and Pete) at one of the main falls and they took these nifty photos and emailed them to us.


The first of the seven falls are just out of view.  Here we  are just aproaching the 2nd fall called Rainby Force (Graded V).


The river rises and drops quickly with heavy rain, so it’s all in the timing to catch this run in premium flows. A good indicator is the first fall (Wain Wath Force), if there is a curtain of water covering the whole fall it’s going to be an awsome run.


There are some serious rock features at the base of the second fall that require a tight line through past a heavy recirculating stopper – after a quick inspection we both make a clean line through.


It was Adrian’s  first grade 5 test peace (expanding his comfort zone into grade 5) and it was great to see him focused and enjoying every minute of this fantastic run.

There are another 5 falls between grade 4 and 5 with short sections of grade 3/4 rapids between depending on the water level – the level was on the higher side when these photos were taken.

You can find more information on this little gem on the following link: UK River Guide Book

Happy Paddling